Life at the end of the road

July 28, 2010

Meeting the Chief

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:03 pm

I really can’t see me finishing this tonight, already it’s 21:45 on Wednesday and I’m pure wrecked. Tuesday, my last day before returning to the good ship Loch Striven saw me rushing round manically trying to get everything ship shape on the croft before the start of my ‘week on’ A task made more difficult by being ‘home alone’ well apart from the wee dug, wifey is still in Glasgow and the boy has been left with friends in the village. Still, I did manage to get all the pigs sorted into fresh fields for the impending next batch of farrowing in two weeks time as well as a mad dash into Portree with a sick hen of my neighbours and to collect half a ton of feed. I also managed to mow the lawn in between showers and dry out the boys tent ready for Belladrum a week on Friday.

I can’t really say that at this moment in time that I’m actually looking forward to it but by the time I’ve finished my 6 remaining bananas I’ll be raring to go and shed bucket loads of tears to Candi Staton singing Elvis Presley’s ‘In the ghetto’ 🙂 What I was looking forward to yesterday and did ease some of the weeks aches and pains away was a good wholemeal organic bath.

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The fresh peaty water that really was that colour before I got into making the perfect companion to a 10 year old Islay number by the name of Laphroaig, though I hasten to add it was from the tap and not the bath 🙂 The peaty malt being an excellent companion/medicine to aid sleeping alone. Not that I needed for as soon as my head hit the pillow long before 22:00 I was out like a light. Just as well because today was pure mental at work.

The Macleod Parliament 2010

The day (Wednesday) I knew was going to be busy as it was the week of the Macleod Parliament   a four yearly event where clan members from all over the world converge to elect new members of their council which represents Macleod’s of Lewis and Raasay ( I think ) from nine different countries. We were well prepared by having two extra crew members for the extra passengers.

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Though one of them was unpaid and only there because I couldn’t find a dog sitter 🙂

After a shaky start to the day which involved a few alarms going off and generators almost shutting down due to blocked sea water filters even before I’d finished my muesli and banana we picked the first wave up at 9:25.

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Sporting flags and accents from the four corners of the globe the first 50 or so with their various tartans waited patiently at the chaos that was Sconser car park.

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To be piped off half an hour later when we arrived at Raasay, accompanied by what I can only guess was a replica of the ‘Fairy flag’ a banner that has mystical powers and has only been unfurled in action twice. Legend has it that on its third use the clan will fail ( I think ) Clan Macleod aficionados will have to forgive me for any inaccuracies but it’s late and my satellite broaband is  pathetic 🙂

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The second wave arrived at 11:30 and there were various talks and walks organized centring on a display at the village hall. Judging by the smiles and banter a good time was had by all as they gradually departed through out the late afternoon and evening.

The line of the chiefs of Lewis died out in 1615 (I think) so the Chiefship has now passed to the line of the Raasay Macleod’s who hold it to this day.

The last clan chief on Raasay departed these shores in 1846 or there about for Tasmania (probably a wise move judging by the weather 🙂 ) but today I had the pleasure of meeting Clan Chieftain John Macleod his descendant, and guess what, he reads the blog, I am truly honoured 🙂

Being a bit of a mongrel with Italian, English and Argentinean genes  and never actually living anywhere where ‘I’m from’  I’ve never really been into the ‘roots’ thing but driving home today past the ruins of Raasay house and Brochel castle, the ancient seats of the clan I can certainly  see the attraction. Perhaps it’s time to look at my family tree, or is it a thicket of shrubs 🙂


My fathers tiny village in Liguria where I spent time as a child certainly goes back to Etruscan (pre Roman) times.

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